Forcing Baptism on Anyone is Not God's Way
A Catholic priest by the name of Rev. Fr. Stephen “Steve” Shott O.S.F.S. tweeted in response to questions and criticisms of his faith as follows:
Poor Stephen Shott. He doesn’t know his Bible. This is where we can see the benefit and the importance of reading the Bible!
In Matthew 28:19-20, there is no such thing as “baptize all nations”! The commandment is “teach all nations!”
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It is absolutely impractical to be able to baptize a nation. A preacher of God can preach into an entire nation but never in the history of humanity, more so in Christianity, that a whole nation was baptized! It is because of acceptance of teachings that is a pre-requisite.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the most sensible preacher of all times, taught the nation of Israel His teachings but was not successful in making His entire nation accept His teachings and therefore be baptized.
Truth and reality qualify and quantify the intended meaning of a statement. The commandment “teach all nations, baptizing them” does not mean that all nations or an entire nation be baptized. The commission to teach, yes, and baptism is to follow. But there is a qualifying and quantifying truth to the intended meaning of the speaker.
The Lord Jesus Christ very well knew that not all nations and not all people of each nation would accept His teachings. So with the baptism He commanded to the apostles to be carried out. The Apostles and the disciples understood what the Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” They will baptize only those who believed in His teachings! Here’s a story about a eunuch who merited baptism.
THE ACTS 8:36-38
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Had the eunuch answered in the negative, the possibility - one hundred percent - is that Philip will not baptize him. That fact qualifies and quantifies the intended sense of the commandment!
Why are we sure biblically and logically that the baptism commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ will not be bestowed upon anyone who does not believe? Baptism signifies submission of the seeker to God’s power by his faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Why will a true preacher of God baptize a person if doing such will not please the God who sent him? Clearly, the qualifier is “faith,” the quantifier is “faith,” and the distinguisher of the age of anybody in a nation that is qualified for baptism is “faith.” A baby or an infant cannot have faith.
For every one that useth milk is unskillfull in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Faith comes from hearing.
THE ROMANS 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Babies and infants have no capacity to believe or to have faith. In contrast, a grown up or a hundred-year-old man has the capacity to understand and so can believe. However, if he has no faith, he must not be baptized!
Being an adult and having the capacity to understand and to receive the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ is not enough gauge to receive baptism. He must receive them in faith in order to be baptized.
THE ROMANS 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
If in eating a person that eats without faith is damned, will not somebody being baptized without faith being fully aware of what he is doing be damned? The answer is clear: “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
What then is the age essence or limit in Matthew 28:19-20? The age of reasons where a man can, by his own free will, accept the teachings and baptism commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ!
It does not stop there, however. Baptism is just the beginning of the journey of a true Christian.
What follows after baptism? “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” After baptism follows the teaching "to observe"! A baby or an infant, even long after baptism, has not the capacity to observe or obey the laws of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what did the poor Catholic priest say?
Let’s look into more exchanges in Twitter.
It is true that teaching starts from childhood but not from “babyhood” and “infanthood.” Timothy was instructed in the Holy Scriptures from “childhood.”
II TIMOTHY 3:15 (RSV)
and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
The mention of the term, “from childhood” can be understood from the fact that from the grandmother to the mother and to Timothy, faith dwelt.
II TIMOTHY 1:5
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Since childhood, Timothy was being instructed by his mother and his grandmother. But one thing is sure: he was not baptized in “babyhood” or “infanthood”! He was baptized only when of age - as a reasoning adult.
This glaring truth is something that Catholic authorities cannot perceive! The mystery of the Kingdom of God is not given to just anyone! Therefore, things ring as parables in the ears of “the blind.”
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Light illuminates. But light blinds others!
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Glaring light to an unbelieving person may cause blindness. But to a believer, light illuminates the eyes to see and the mind to understand.
THE ACTS 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
When Stephen Shott was asked if Christ instituted infant baptism, his answer was Yes, He did, and more. There was no discrimination. It was free for all. Christ instituted baptism for infant, child, teen, adult. Age was no barrier according to this priest.
How can a child be the same as an adult, to say the least that “infant baptism” is the same with “adult baptism”? How stupid! More than not discriminating with age, his understanding also of baptism is that all nations are to be baptized.
I pity this priest and those who will believe in him! In his futile defense of his erroneous faith, he resorts to adding his own thoughts in the Bible! This is the spirit that dictated the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to institute what they call “holy inquisition.”
They killed and annihilated everyone who would not accept their baptism and their teachings because they have in mind the wrong interpretation of what the Lord Jesus Christ said and changed it to “baptize all nations”!
During the height of the power of the Roman Catholic Church, if people did not accept baptism, they were poisoned, beheaded, burned at stake, and fed to beasts!
What was the Inquisition?
For several centuries Catholic Church lorded it over in Inquisitions. When was this?
But here’s an excerpt from a Catholic Apologist, Thomas Madden in CatholicityDotCom (October 3, 2003) trying his best to cosmeticize the Inquisition that was part of Catholic history. In “The Truth About the Inquisition,” he wrote that Conversos were admittedly those forced into baptism. (Take note of the streaks of idolatry that were introduced to them as in calling Mary, the mother of God).
Spanish rabbis after 1391 had considered conversos to be Jews, since they had been forced into baptism. Yet by 1414, rabbis repeatedly stressed that conversos were indeed true Christians, since they had voluntarily left Judaism. By the mid-15th century, a whole new converso culture was flowering in Spain – Jewish in ethnicity and culture, but Catholic in religion.
Conversos, whether new converts themselves or the descendants of converts, took enormous pride in that culture. Some even asserted that they were better than the "Old Christians," since as Jews they were related by blood to Christ Himself. When the converso bishop of Burgos, Alonso de Cartagena, prayed the Hail Mary, he would say with pride, "Holy Mary, Mother of God and my blood relative, pray for us sinners…"
Several hundred years later, a pope would be asking for forgiveness for what happened during the Inquisition. This is from The Foreign Post, March 16-22, 2000 Vol. 8 No.370 and is titled, “Please Forgive Us.”
The death of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was initiated by Catholics because of the attacks and criticisms written by our hero against the abuses of the Catholic Church in my country of origin, through his books, “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo.”
One of Rizal’s famous quotes goes –
“Our liberty will not be secured at the sword's point... We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when the people reaches that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.”
The death of Rizal is obviously religious persecution from abusive and greedy Catholic friars. Their mission: “to baptize the entire Philippine nation” because of their wrong interpretation of Matthew 28:19-20! To assure their power, even a child must be baptized contrary to biblical Christianity.
Definitely, there’s no more inquisition these days but the Catholic Church’s forcible baptism has changed configuration: It is focusing on the innocent and helpless – the infants.
There is wisdom in God’s words. Baptism requires understanding and acceptance of the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, age is important – and more than that is the acceptance of baptism itself. Then and only then will a person be baptized. Baptism, in any case, should not be forced on anyone. Neither should any religion be.
A whole nation is not expected to accept truth and one cannot force it by any means, least of all through inquisitions like those of the past. Otherwise, through enforcing, you violate the will of the person and resort to violence or to killing him – physically as well as spiritually. This veritably is not God’s way.
More to come. May God bless you.